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Do you have a content strategy for your social media programs?

We all know that instantaneous interactions is an important characteristic of social media. These interactions are immediate because applications like Twitter, Facebook, and FourSquare simplify the process for you to get your message out. The ubiquity of mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets further support the speed of communications in the social world. Lastly, the sheer size of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram enable members to reach incredibly large audiences with a few clicks.

For businesses that are entering the social media space, they too may feel an urgency to interact. In some cases, such as providing customer service or responding to topical news items for the business, that can be true. However, when it comes to content, you need to plan your content. Your plan becomes a reflection of your overall content strategy. If we assume that our goal is to create content that is interesting and resonates with our audiences, our content strategy must ensure we have considered the following for every single piece of content produced (Hanbury, 2011):

Who is our audience?

What issues or challenges are they facing?

What type of content is likely to resonate with them?

How will this content align with our brand and business goals?

How will we monitor that our content is impacting our audience?

What are expected targets for the monitoring we will do?

Although the answer to some of these questions will not change when considered for each piece of content you create, it’s important to remember that your content strategy is not a onetime event, it’s more of a mindset that is integrated into your content creation process.

Approach each piece of content as an opportunity to be in front of the highest people in your company. Would you not prepare for such an event? Highly unlikely.  When creating social media content you want to assume your audiences is equally important, as they too have the power to impact your sales and corporate brand. Patricia Redsicker, a content marketing expert and writer at WordView Editing, notes that social media is a very distracting environment, and everyone has a very short attention span. For that reason it’s important to have a solid content strategy plan, one that must be in place before your organization shows up on any social media channel.

As noted above, you’ll want to identify content that will land with your audience. Given the diversity of audiences, this can be quite a challenge. However, this is where the concept of recycling content or referencing previously created content comes into play. When considering other content source you will need to ensure that the content is well written, aligns with your content and/or business goals, and has received attention of its intended audience. A couple of great resources used to identify appropriate content you can reuse is Google and Reddit. My favorite tool that simplifies content sharing directly to my blog is called Press This, a WordPress browser plug-in that lets you share any content you find without having to go to WordPress and creating an article.

References

Hanbury, K. (2011). Retrieved April 30, 2014 from http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2011/04/5-things-about-content-strategy/

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